Classic Week at Christie’s concluded on 13 July achieving a total of £109,038,888 / $141,931,118 / €128,048,200, having welcomed over 19,000 visitors to view the diverse displays and auctions which spanned the Decorative Arts, Antiquities, Old Master & British Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Books and Manuscripts and The Exceptional Sale. The week realised a strong average sell-through rate of 87% by value across the 14 sales, anticipating the market for each price point and category. Increased international participation saw over 1,000 registered bidders from 50 countries, 695 registered online bidders and substantial cross-category buying with over 700 active bidders across the week, including collectors of 20th Century art. Christie’s achieved seven of the top ten auction prices of the season across all houses, underlining its leading position in the market. The auctions were highlighted by the memorable sale of Rubens’s masterpiece Lot and his Daughters, which achieved the highest price for a work of art at auction this year.
Matilda Burn, a Christie’s specialist in Decorative Arts, tells the story behind one of only four surviving vases potted by Josiah Wedgwood on the opening day of the Etruria Factory
Specialist Laetitia Delaloye gives an expert introduction to Roman glass — from miniature perfume bottles to blown glass drinking vessels
Specialist Laetitia Delaloye discusses a mysterious 4,000-year-old marble figure, offered in our Antiquities sale at Christie’s London on 6 July
Artist Alexander Massouras demonstrates how the techniques behind some of history’s greatest prints remain unchanged — almost 400 years on
Art critic Alastair Sooke and Christie’s specialist Clementine Sinclair discuss the ’spellbinding’ Lot and His Daughters
Musician Jakob Lindberg discusses a rare manuscript, hand-written by one of the 17th century’s greatest composers, Johann Sebastian Bach
One hundred years after the Easter Rising, specialist Thomas Venning examines a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic — and meets a descendent of one of its signatories
Horticulturist and TV presenter Alys Fowler discusses ‘The Besler Botanical’, a previously unrecorded copy an early 17th-century book documenting one of history’s finest gardens
A series of sales from 5 to 13 July, featuring outstanding pieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and Rossetti, plus an extraordinary Augsburg table-cabinet, exquisite Meissen porcelain and Bach’s autograph manuscript BWV 998
A Wedgwood ‘First Day’s Vase’ from 1769
Buried for up to 2,000 years
‘Masterful’: A rare Cycladic figure from the 3rd Millennium B.C.
‘The perfect line’: How Rembrandt made some of his greatest works
A Rubens masterpiece up-close
A piece of musical history
The words on which modern Ireland was built
‘The greatest flower book in the world’
Classic Week at Christie’s London
Three experts discuss their ten-month journey to discover the history of a mysterious 17th-century chair
Like extras in a play, the anonymous figures in Old Master paintings — or staffage — imbue landscapes with life and create intriguing narratives
The story of casket decorated by Edward Coley Burne-Jones for Frances Graham, one of the great loves of his life
The life of a giant of intellectual and scientific history, as told through six rare first editions
Specialist Marus Rädecke decodes a remarkable Renaissance survivor, thought to be its maker’s last great work
Manuscripts specialist Eugenio Donadoni on what he believes to be the earliest painted representation of the Turin Shroud
The curator of an exhibition at the British Museum on why the landscape artist is now so sought after
Specialist Thomas Venning discusses a ‘pungent’ leather jacket once worn by one of the greatest scientists in history
The only known example of a Meissen great bustard still in private hands is a highlight of The Exceptional Sale 2016
Specialist Benjamin Peronnet offers seven expert tips on collecting — from affordable works on paper to museum-quality masterpieces
Christie's Antiquities specialist Claudio Corsi advises on seven things to consider before buying ancient marbles
Christie’s 250th Anniversary
2016 marks Christie’s 250th anniversary, and this historic year will be celebrated with a series of events and exhibitions. As the world’s leading art business, Christie’s has long been acknowledged as a tastemaker, continually innovating its auction calendar and curating sales to foster new collecting trends and perspectives on the art market.
Defining British Art: Evening Sale & Loan Exhibition
This summer, Christie’s launches its 250th anniversary celebrations in London with the Defining British Art Evening Sale. This landmark auction will celebrate the artistic legacy of four centuries of British artists, building on the success of Christie’s pioneering curated Evening Sales – notably Looking Forward to the Past and The Artist’s Muse in 2015.
A further highlight of our anniversary celebrations, the Defining British Art Loan Exhibition on view from 17 June to 15 July at King Street, showcases works by some of the greatest British artists, alongside masterpieces by international artists inspired by visits to Britain.